You guys are so smart! I love it when you share a marketing technique that’s made all the difference in the world to you. There’s no better model for the rest of us.
Thanks today to Jennifer Johnson, director of marketing & communications at Advocates. I worked with Jen to develop a first-time brand for this human services agency providing a breadth of programs and services throughout Massachusetts. Here’s the inventive approach she designed to solicit prompt input throughout the brand development process:
As you muscle through engaging donors and other supporters in the actions you need, it’s crucial to have your thank you and follow-up ready to roll.
NOW is when you have their attention. In fact, the first three months after your people give, sign a petition, register for a program, or attend an online volunteer orientation is your now-or-never period for courtship. If you haven’t done a good job of it by then, the relationship may be off for good.
Don’t risk it! There are so many doable engagement methods. Take the fantastic e-newsletter produced by DC Central Kitchen (DCCK), the most vibrant, innovative food distribution and meal recycling program I know.
My last Meals on Wheels communications case study touched on the advantages of communicating and fundraising for a smaller nonprofit. Today, I’d like to share one of the greatest challenges—Many smaller organizations, like mine, don’t have an explicit, documented process for creative workflow.
Perhaps these organizations’ smaller staff size creates the illusion that a process is not needed. I’m not sure. But what I do know is that most of my career successes were built on the foundation of a documented creative workflow. Here’s how to put a creative brief to work:
Need help with that campaign email or program registration mini-site due to launch last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to the most audience-delighting, highest-impact calls to action of your life? How about getting there via a captivating romp through the life—and laws—of one of the most motivating fundraising writers around?
How many of your communications projects go nowhere because the approval process is a landmine? For many of us, that happens way too often. We diligently do our homework, developing buy-in from colleagues (by highlighting what’s in it for them) and sourcing practical insights on audience habits and wants.
We use these guidelines to get “it” right, whether it’s a first-ever formalized organizational talking points, campaign mini-site, new program marketing plan, an anniversary celebration approach, or… Then, we sit down again with those colleagues (or send a reply-to-all email with requests for specific feedback if folks are in multiple locations) to get interim or final approval.
Suddenly everyone’s a graphic designer, or a writer, or a creative director. Chaos ensues, even though we shaped the deliverable to what we heard from these same colleagues. I think you know what I mean.
There is a better way—be as strategic in your review and approval process, as you are with your marketing and fundraising work.
Guest blogger Karla Capers specializes in using the internet to raise visibility for progressive issues and engage people more deeply in campaigns. She has worked for advocacy organizations since 1996.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where I’m Director of Engagement, faced a daunting challenge a couple of years ago: How to re-engage the many folks who were not reading or acting on our emails. It’s a common problem, for nonprofit organizations and beyond, and one that’s crucial to address.
We’re so focused on “urgent” to-dos and right-now campaigns that it’s easy to overlook a valuable engagement opportunity: Your website’s “page not found” page (a.k.a. 404 error page).
Error pages alert visitors that the page they were seeking no longer exists, or they typed in or clicked on a broken link, and redirects them to the content they want. When crafted well, your error page becomes excellent customer service, providing an engaging intro to your organizational personality, impact, and content.
Flip Frustration to Satisfaction Hitting a dead end is frustrating and time consuming. But the right error page—featuring a clear explanation of why visitors are on the page; a simple, bold graphic connected to your organization’s brand; and easy navigation to what “lost” visitors are looking for—can flip their frustration to satisfaction. Here’s how to delight your “lost” visitors as you get them where they want to go:
What’s Happening with Video at
International Rescue Committee (IRC) & Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Cathe Neukum is Executive Producer for IRC, where she’s responsible for all video content. In her two-and-a-half year tenure, she’s increased the organization’s visibility on Facebook and YouTube by over 800%.
Cathe’s latest video (at top) features actor and activist Mandy Patinkin standing with IRC aid workers in Greece to welcome families fleeing Syria and other war-torn countries for a better life. This video has been viewed 5 million times on Facebook. READ MORE